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Panfilo
Aug 27, 2011

EXISTENCE IS PAIN

If you see people panhandling with their kids, just call CPS.

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chemosh6969
Jul 3, 2004

code:
cat /dev/null > /etc/professionalism

I am in fact a massive asswagon.
Do not let me touch computer.


Pharmaskittle posted:

I'm pretty likely to give panhandlers a couple bucks regardless of how dumb their story is because no matter what the truth is they need it more than I do, but if your story starts with how you stabbed a guy, I'm not gonna be inclined to keep talking to you.

The poor dude from Nigeria also needs money more than you. Same deal with college kids and their dumb door to door book sales. The only difference is how someone approaches you.

If you really want to help out the poor/needy/homeless, try a charity that helps to get them back on their feet (when possible), or at least uses the money to help them and not blow it on things like paying for a taxi to a gas station convenience store to do their grocery shopping (dumb poo poo like this happens).

Teriyaki Hairpiece
Dec 29, 2006

Ask me about my dream Frasier episode where Frasier and Bulldog oil their heads and then rub them together. It's definitely not a fetish of mine, I swear!

Celery Face posted:

There's this aggressive crackhead in my city who has been using the same "My dad is a chief at an up island reserve and I need just ten bucks to stay at the hostel" story for years now. He once called me a stuck up bitch (fittingly enough, he has a fedora and a greasy ponytail) for ignoring him after he told me to smile. Even the other panhandlers think he's a dick apparently.

That sucks because in any front facing business you need to be friends with your coworkers.

Bogan King
Jan 21, 2013

I'm not racist, I'm mates with Bangladesh, the guy who sells me kebabs. No, I don't know his real name.

Teriyaki Hairpiece posted:

That sucks because in any front facing business you need to be friends with your coworkers.

The other panhandlers are his competition though not his coworkers so them not liking him could just be professional jealousy.

Pharmaskittle
Dec 17, 2007

arf arf put the money in the fuckin bag


chemosh6969 posted:

If you really want to help out the poor/needy/homeless, try a charity that helps to get them back on their feet (when possible), or at least uses the money to help them and not blow it on things like paying for a taxi to a gas station convenience store to do their grocery shopping (dumb poo poo like this happens).

You can do both. And even if the guy in front of me I give a few dollars to goes and spends it on cheap liquor and cigarettes, I know I'm going to spend some of my own money on slightly less cheap liquor and cigarettes. They deserve the same little escapes I buy for myself right along with some patronizing "hey you gotta use this for food" poo poo you'd want to give them.

Teriyaki Hairpiece
Dec 29, 2006

Ask me about my dream Frasier episode where Frasier and Bulldog oil their heads and then rub them together. It's definitely not a fetish of mine, I swear!

Bogan King posted:

The other panhandlers are his competition though not his coworkers so them not liking him could just be professional jealousy.

There are two ways to look at this.

Pilsner
Nov 23, 2002



1000 Brown M and Ms posted:

Anyway, scams. I ran into a few when I visited Hong Kong, but at least I only really fell for one.

I was down at the waterfront and an Indian dude started talking to me. Seemed legit at first, but then he did a routing about being a yogi and giving him money for luck. I gave him $10HKD (~$1USD) so he would shut up, but he kept pressuring me so I walked away. I also went across the border to Shenzhen and while I was there bought a MicroSD card from a dude on the street, but it didn't work. Looked real legit though. Only cost about $10 so I wasn't too miffed.

Worst was when I went to Wan Chai with a dude I met at the hostel I was staying at. We were walking past a bar and some girls literally dragged us inside. They really wanted us to spend money on a strip show or to gently caress them, but all we did was buy them a drink. Sounds fine, until they gave us the bill when we left. Our drinks were about $40HKD each, but theirs were $400HKD each. That pissed us off, but we thought it would be a good idea to pay in case there were some dudes out the back that would gently caress us up if we bailed. Honestly, it could have been much worse but we really shouldn't have stayed in the first place.

I also remember a ton of Indian or Arab guys offering me drugs, and people collecting donations for some disaster in the Philippines. I have no idea if they were legit or not, but I wasn't interested in finding out. There's also all the markets with tons of knockoff merchandise, but I'm not sure I'd consider that a scam because of how open they are.
Fundamentally, a foreigner on the street of any country pushingly offering you some item or service is most likely a scammer or involved in something illegal, such as prostitution or drugs. That's just the fact, wether you're in Europe or Asia.

Not all the indians in Hong Kong are bad, most are just tailors, but I remember walking down a busy street and one guy openly, with dozens of locals within earshot, yelled "Hello Sir! You need suit, you need shirt, you need marijuana, something....?" from outside his suit shop.

Locals never scammed me in Hong Kong, just be fresh with haggling, even if a store (small store, not in a big mall) has price labels on the items.

Regarding the hooker bars, they're poor copies of the girly bars in Thailand and Philippines (where you don't get scammed), and prey on rich / new / naive foreigners. In any country such bars will be overpriced and rife with bill inflation.

goatsestretchgoals
Jun 4, 2011

in soviet russia, you shove robot

Pilsner posted:

I remember walking down a busy street and one guy openly, with dozens of locals within earshot, yelled "Hello Sir! You need suit, you need shirt, you need marijuana, something....?"

HK tailors are way better than in the States.

Pilsner
Nov 23, 2002



goatsestretchgoals posted:

HK tailors are way better than in the States.
Hong Kong'ers set up tailor shops in the USA? Funny, in Asia it's Indians/Pakistanis and similar that perform tailor work.

Blackchamber
Jan 25, 2005



Pilsner posted:

Hong Kong'ers set up tailor shops in the USA? Funny, in Asia it's Indians/Pakistanis and similar that perform tailor work.

There's a Hong Kong tailor I used when I was in HK and she regularly visits the United States. She travels to a couple cities, stays in pretty nice hotels and she does all the measurement taking and so on there then goes back to HK and makes your made-to-measure suit. I was in her office and I don't think most people would be impressed by her clients (she has photos with a lot of them on her wall) but it's like a who's who of Kung Fu movies so I was pretty blown away.

goatsestretchgoals
Jun 4, 2011

in soviet russia, you shove robot

Pilsner posted:

Hong Kong'ers set up tailor shops in the USA? Funny, in Asia it's Indians/Pakistanis and similar that perform tailor work.

I've only been in a few tailor shops, but I was never offered weed.

tinytort
Jun 10, 2013

Super healthy, super cheap

Most recent scam I've seen (besides the once-every-three-months spam text message saying to click here for money from a phone company I've never had a contract with) is the Fyrefestival schadenfreude.

Which means it's about time for PSAs about how to properly vet whether the brand new convention in your favourite fandom is legit / a good idea to go to.

Tips I've seen include:
* check the credentials of the people in charge - what experience do they have here? Is it their first time trying to do something like this? Have they worked at other conventions?

* check the venue - is it going to cost a lot for you to get there? If something goes sideways with the accommodations, are you going to be sol for finding somewhere to stay? If you need to leave after the first day - or sooner - are you going to be wrangling with airlines to try and change your ticket? Do you have to arrange your own hotel room or is that included? Are there actually any pictures of the venue or the accommodations? Are there legal issues that should be mentioned and aren't?

* what are the expectations being set by the convention? Is it "small gathering of like-minded folk, maybe an artist's alley and a cosplay contest" or is it trying to match or outdo established conventions?

* how are things like booking and money being handled? How much is being asked for? What's the refund policy? Has anyone been complaining that they haven’t been paid, or backed out of attending very suddenly for reasons that aren't family emergency or their health?

Basically, if it's further than a two hour drive or requires a plane trip to another country, give it second thoughts. If the organisers haven't done this before successfully? Give it second thoughts. If this first-year convention has a schedule you'd expect from a major, well-established one, give it third and fourth thoughts.
If artists and scheduled performers are bailing, give it a hard pass. If there's no real photos of where you're going to be sleeping, hard pass. If the venue is supposed to be somewhere in a tourist area and there's no mention of working with the local community, don’t go.

Remember: it's better to go next year, if the first year was successful, than to find yourself stranded somewhere and dealing with another Dashcon or Fyrefestival.

Cyrano4747
Sep 25, 2006

Behind every great engineer is someone just hoping the "genius" doesn't bankrupt everyone.



tinytort posted:

Fyrefestival schadenfreude.

Remember: it's better to go next year, if the first year was successful, than to find yourself stranded somewhere and dealing with another Dashcon or Fyrefestival.

So what are these? I've never heard of it.

Jeb Bush 2012
Apr 4, 2007

A mathematician, like a painter or poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas.

Cyrano4747 posted:

So what are these? I've never heard of it.

dashcon was a tumblr convention which went about as well as you'd expect from the words "tumblr convention"

fyre festival was supposed to be a high-end music festival, and was sponsored by a bunch of famous people, which ended up with a bunch of rich people turning up on an island where their "luxury accommodation" was FEMA disaster tents and their "gourmet catering" was like ham sandwiches and I think none of the actual acts turned up because the organisers didn't pay them

afaik both of them started out with incompetence, not scamming, but the organisers ended up pulling some illegal poo poo as they grew more desperate

Red Oktober
May 24, 2006

wiggly eyes!





Cyrano4747 posted:

So what are these? I've never heard of it.

Fyre Festival is the one you might have seen in the news recently - the disastrous attempt at a festival associated with Ja Rule.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/29/ja-rule-heartbroken-after-fyre-festival-descends-into-disaster
http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/39743303/luxury-fyre-festival-is-cancelled-with-ticket-holders-still-stranded-in-bahamas

The other one was a huge failure that they started trying to raise funds to pay the hotel during the con, I think? They also offered 'an extra hour in the ball pit' as compensation, which became pretty famous.

CoolCab
Apr 17, 2005

OH WOW! Have I shoehorned my INCREDIBLY BORING story about how I met James Corden at the Greggs at Chievely services on the M4 into this thread yet? Of course I have because that's LITERALLY the most interesting thing about me.

PLEASE TELL ME (and James Corden) TO EAT SHIT


Jeb Bush 2012 posted:



fyre festival was supposed to be a high-end music festival, and was sponsored by a bunch of famous people, which ended up with a bunch of rich people turning up on an island where their "luxury accommodation" was FEMA disaster tents and their "gourmet catering" was like ham sandwiches

the components of ham sandwiches in a styrofoam case. didn't even assemble em.

Tunicate
May 15, 2012





CoolCab posted:

the components of ham sandwiches in a styrofoam case. didn't even assemble em.

Also no ham.

Masonity
Dec 31, 2007

What, I wonder, does this hidden face of madness reveal of the makers? These K'Chain Che'Malle?


It was a deconstructed vegan take on the ham sandwich. Gourmet stuff.

tinytort
Jun 10, 2013

Super healthy, super cheap

Jeb Bush 2012 posted:

dashcon was a tumblr convention which went about as well as you'd expect from the words "tumblr convention"

fyre festival was supposed to be a high-end music festival, and was sponsored by a bunch of famous people, which ended up with a bunch of rich people turning up on an island where their "luxury accommodation" was FEMA disaster tents and their "gourmet catering" was like ham sandwiches and I think none of the actual acts turned up because the organisers didn't pay them

afaik both of them started out with incompetence, not scamming, but the organisers ended up pulling some illegal poo poo as they grew more desperate

From what I recall, Dashcon actually started out pretty sketchy but in ways that could be written off to incompetence or inexperience. They promised the guests of honour compensation for travel and that room and board would be arranged - which is pretty standard for a small convention, and is considered a basic courtesy at this point. Among the groups that were supposed to show? The cast and crew of "Welcome to Nightvale", which was a big deal at the time because this was a major coup for an unestablished convention; you'd expect to see them at something more well-known like DragonCon. (This was, at the time, equivalent to going "we have Rebecca Sugar and members of the Crewniverse attending as guests".)

So it was an equally major scandal when the WTNV crew went "we haven't been paid, and there's no accommodation set up for us. We're hoping that will be resolved quickly, but if it isn't, we're going to pass on being at Dashcon." The organisers threw out a bunch of excuses - that the WTNV crew was actually demanding more money, that the payment must not have gone through - and the attendees ate it up and there was a brief backlash against WTNV as a result. WTNV did not end up making an appearance at the con, which turned out to be for the best even if they had spent money to travel there.

The next problem was with the hotel Dashcon had booked for the venue, where the attendees were supposed to be staying. Well - allegedly booked. Turns out there were issues there too! The story from the organisers was that the hotel was suddenly demanding more money, and it needed to be paid by a certain time or the whole convention would be kicked out. There was outcry, there was an influx of money - a lot of it, as I understand, in the form of cash dropped into a paper bag being passed around by one of the organisers with no receipts or other proof of where the money had gone - and a lot of warnings on Tumblr going "no, don’t give your money to this, this isn't how any professional convention works".

And then some/many of the events got cancelled, with promises for an "extra hour in the ball pit" for the attendees who’d been inconvenienced by this. (Yes, there was an actual ball pit. It was an inflatable kiddy pool full of balls, and it apparently got punctured at some point during this. I remember rumours that someone had peed in it, but I don't remember how true that was. The photos of a ball pit at Fyrefestival? That's the Dashcon ball pit shopped in.)

The attendees were all mostly rich or upper middle class white kids in high school or college - young enough to be easy targets for this sort of thing, and with the ready access to mommy and daddy's credit cards that was necessary for the rest to work. I think the estimate for how much the attendees got shaken down for was around a couple thousand bucks; I know there were writeups of exactly what happened, but I'm on my phone right now. I do remember that there was an attempt at a kickstarter by the same organisers, and a lot of warnings about not giving any money to it.

Fyrefestival is (as mentioned) currently in the news, and there were major warning signs about it. The lead organiser is a notorious con artist, and not only were none of the musicians paid, none of the staff has been paid; last I'd heard, they were having to start looking at whether they want to take legal action against the employer because they were being asked to stay on and work for free. There’s a particularly good writeup about what happened behind the scenes by one of the people who was in charge of contacting the bands and getting them to come, ending with the words "they didn't make me sign an nda".

Other warning signs included the fact that the attendees were lied to about the location (they were told it would be a private island, but it's actually a major tourist destination); and the utter lack of any kind of contact with the local tourism group. Also the fact that there were no photos of the accommodations; the most that was provided was a drawing of what the attendees were to expect.

The schadenfreude sets in once you find out that most of the attendees were rich white dudebros, who were expecting something like Coachella but more exclusive. (Also, no one actually got hurt or anything, just scammed and disappointed. The nearest town was actually a reasonably short walk away.)

bongwizzard
May 19, 2005

Then one day I meet a man,
He came to me and said,
"Hard work good and hard work fine,
but first take care of head"

Grimey Drawer

I think the real lesson is to not get so wrapped up in a media product that you were willing to fly across the country to go to a goddamn convention for it.

Teriyaki Hairpiece
Dec 29, 2006

Ask me about my dream Frasier episode where Frasier and Bulldog oil their heads and then rub them together. It's definitely not a fetish of mine, I swear!

The real lesson is to just loving pay people what you owe them and if you can't then come clean and give an honest explanation rather than just hoping everything is going to work out somehow.

Lone Goat
Apr 16, 2003

When life gives you lemons, suplex those lemons.






The real real lesson is to rip off idiots every chance you can get.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Fandom scams are loving weird. Some lady wrote a book, When a Fan Hits the poo poo, about how she and a bunch of other people got taken for a ride by a couple of Lord of the Rings scammers.

Josef K. Sourdust
Jul 16, 2014

"To be quite frank, Platinum sucks at making games. Vanquish was terrible and Metal Gear Rising: Revengance was so boring it put me to sleep."



Midjack posted:

a couple of Lord of the Rings scammers.

A dark lord offered them rings of power but they didn't read the small print in the contract and ended up losing their souls for eternity? Or were they complaining because they didn't get that?

tinytort
Jun 10, 2013

Super healthy, super cheap

Josef K. Sourdust posted:

A dark lord offered them rings of power but they didn't read the small print in the contract and ended up losing their souls for eternity? Or were they complaining because they didn't get that?

Ooh. No, I read about that one. It got linked in a psa about how to avoid convention scams. The guy running this particular scam actually started a cult.

Twice.

The first time, it was based around channeling hobbits! And he ended up bilking the woman who wrote "When A Fan Hits The poo poo" out of about 10k, because he'd convinced her to cover airfare and I think hotel rooms for the celebrities who were going to be attending the LOTR convention he was organising. The convention got called of at the last minute because of (if I remember right) health problems on the guy's part that turned out to just be a moneybeg, and she had to cancel a whole bunch of airplane tickets. She spent years dealing with the financial aftermath of that, and understandably bears a grudge for it.

The second time, uh, ended with a girl dead because he convinced her that it was a really good idea for them both to move in with her physically aggressive, unstable ex. The ex shot her, and then himself; the scammer-cult leader got shot in the foot in the process (bullet went through the door of the room he was hiding in, when the girl got shot).
He then organised a memorial hike on the gatdang Trail of Tears, and got people to fund it, and went on this hike with two other cultists. Who he 'encouraged' to get married afterwards.

He's apparently still active and has moved fandoms; last known, he was focusing on Teen Wolf and Supernatural, but people are keeping an eye on him and doing their best to warn the communities about him.

Bogan King
Jan 21, 2013

I'm not racist, I'm mates with Bangladesh, the guy who sells me kebabs. No, I don't know his real name.

That's one hell of a ride. How the gently caress isn't he in prison.

Safety Biscuits
Oct 21, 2010



tinytort posted:

Ooh. No, I read about that one. It got linked in a psa about how to avoid convention scams. The guy running this particular scam actually started a cult.

Was this Victoria Bitter or something? The story rings a bell from when I was on fandom_wank.

effervescible
Jun 29, 2012

i will eat your soul


Safety Biscuits posted:

Was this Victoria Bitter or something? The story rings a bell from when I was on fandom_wank.

Yep. That was Andrew Blake's original fandom handle before he transitioned. His alleged partner in crime during the LOTR days later got free of him and turned out to be a victim as well, though she at least acknowledged her wrongdoing and did what she could to make amends. Her blog writing about that time is pretty harrowing in parts but has a happy ending.

PJOmega
May 5, 2009


effervescible posted:

Yep. That was Andrew Blake's original fandom handle before he transitioned. His alleged partner in crime during the LOTR days later got free of him and turned out to be a victim as well, though she at least acknowledged her wrongdoing and did what she could to make amends. Her blog writing about that time is pretty harrowing in parts but has a happy ending.

I'm having trouble finding this blog. Link a goon up?

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





I think this is her http://kumquatwriter.tumblr.com

Comstar
Apr 20, 2007

But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Princess Celestia


Got a call on the work phone from an robocaller with an Australian accent- "You have won a free ticket to Lotto Powerball to go into the prize draw of $15,000. Please press 1 to claim your prize".

I was disappointed. A free ticket to a $15000 prize draw? I was SO tempted to press 1 but feared my phone would blow up, a drone strike would come in or I'd be transported to an alternate universe where Donald Trump was US President.

Poldarn
Feb 18, 2011



I got some bad news for you about the presidency thing.

HerStuddMuffin
Aug 10, 2014

YOSPOS


He couldn't resist. :ssh:
:rip: Comstar, killed by an exploding phone. Or a drone strike, it's not quite clear.

Old Binsby
Jun 27, 2014



HerStuddMuffin posted:

He couldn't resist. :ssh:
:rip: Comstar, killed by an exploding phone. Or a drone strike, it's not quite clear.

Or the Ozzie robocaller, they're quite ferocious.

effervescible
Jun 29, 2012

i will eat your soul


PJOmega posted:

I'm having trouble finding this blog. Link a goon up?

The above link is correct, but her original writings about her experiences with Andy are available here, with a lot of them under "The Crazy Train" tag. The two-part account of how she got out is here. It's fascinating stuff, if very sad in parts.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

tinytort posted:

The schadenfreude sets in once you find out that most of the attendees were rich white dudebros, who were expecting something like Coachella but more exclusive. (Also, no one actually got hurt or anything, just scammed and disappointed. The nearest town was actually a reasonably short walk away.)
The tickets to the Fyre Festival were twelve thousand dollars apiece. For a music festival. No one is starving to death because they got conned there, that's for sure. Also, their refund offer for it is amazing:

http://imgur.com/NRPad0x

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

Thanatosian posted:

The tickets to the Fyre Festival were twelve thousand dollars apiece. For a music festival. No one is starving to death because they got conned there, that's for sure.

I thought a bunch of the attendees bought some sort of early discount tickets that were only like $500(which might partly explain why it failed so hard)?

Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013





Thanatosian posted:

The tickets to the Fyre Festival were twelve thousand dollars apiece. For a music festival. No one is starving to death because they got conned there, that's for sure. Also, their refund offer for it is amazing:

http://imgur.com/NRPad0x

Lol at the way the YES/NO choices are worded for "Do you want a refund?"

I love the "You must not be a fun-haver" vibe it has if you actually want your money back.

Safety Biscuits
Oct 21, 2010



effervescible posted:

Yep. That was Andrew Blake's original fandom handle before he transitioned. His alleged partner in crime during the LOTR days later got free of him and turned out to be a victim as well, though she at least acknowledged her wrongdoing and did what she could to make amends. Her blog writing about that time is pretty harrowing in parts but has a happy ending.

Thanks, that brings some memories back. Fandom had some weird stuff happen. Msscribe wasn't exactly a con - or at least she wasn't out for people's money - but she could have been, and other famous fans definitely profited in ways they shouldn't really have.

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Pharmaskittle
Dec 17, 2007

arf arf put the money in the fuckin bag


flosofl posted:

Lol at the way the YES/NO choices are worded for "Do you want a refund?"

I love the "You must not be a fun-haver" vibe it has if you actually want your money back.

It's awesome, it's like when old Doom games would call you a pussy for quitting.

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